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Support you can get at school, college or university

Support you can get at school, college or university

Extra learning support at school, college or university, what an education, health and care (EHC) plan is and how to get one.

Support at school, college or university 

Your school, college or university will have a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENDCO) who can help you get the support you need. Your college or university should have a named person who makes sure anyone with SEND gets the help they need.

The SENDCO will: 

  • look at how you’re getting on in the classroom 
  • agree a support plan with you
  • make sure that you can still join in with the same activities that all other young people do
  • ask you and your family to tell them how you’re getting on with learning

If you need more support

If you need more support than your school, college or university can give you, you might need an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.  An EHC plan is a document that explains what educational, health and social needs you may have and support that must be provided for you while you're at school, college or university. This helps your teachers to support you in your learning. 

Find out more

How to get an EHC plan

If you’re over 16, you can ask us to do an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment. If you’re under 16, your parents, carer or teachers can ask for you.

To ask for an EHC needs assessment, fill in the following documents, either by yourself or with the support of family, friends or someone who supports you:

The forms will ask you:

  • where you go to school or college
  • what you're good at
  • what you find difficult and need help with 
  • your goals for the future

Your parents or carers will need to fill in the family views form (word doc, 79KB) (opens new window) .

To help you fill in the forms, see Education, Health and Care needs assessment: information for young people.

Help with asking for an EHC needs assessment

If you have questions about how to ask for an EHC needs assessment, call 0117 922 3700.

Bristol's Special Educational Needs and Disability Advice and Support Service, SEND And You (SAY), can give you free, confidential advice about filling in the form. Contact SEND And You (SAY).

What happens after you ask for an EHC needs assessment

When we get your request for an EHC needs assessment, we'll email you to tell you we've got it. We have up to 6 weeks to give you a written decision about whether we'll do an EHC needs assessment.

The process:

  1. We record your EHC needs assessment request.
  2. We email you, health and social care services and your education setting to tell you we've got the request.
  3. We contact you within 6 weeks of getting your request to tell you our decision.

If we decide to do an EHC needs assessment

If we agree that an EHC needs assessment would be helpful, we'll have 6 weeks to get information about you from professionals linked to you.

Find out more about what an EHC needs assessment involves.

If we decide not to do an EHC needs assessment

If we decide not to carry out an EHC needs assessment, we'll send you a letter which will explain why. You will continue to get support from the education setting through SEND support.

You have the right to appeal if you disagree with our decision not to do an EHC needs assessment. Find out more on Guide to resolving disagreements about SEND provision.

If you need support with this, SEND And You (SAY) can help. Contact SEND And You (SAY).

How to ask for a school or college when you have an EHC plan

After the EHC needs assessment, we'll decide whether to issue an EHC plan. If we agree to do an EHC plan, you have the right to ask that a particular school or college is named in it.

You have the right to ask for any of these types of school or college:

  • an Academy (mainstream or special)
  • an institution in the Further Education sector
  • a non-maintained special school
  • an independent special school or college (section 41 school)